With the number of innovative, yet intuitive sites on the web today, creative web design is vital – it draws readers in and keeps them interested. In pursuit of the most interesting design, however, some designers push the limits too far – producing unreadable, distracting, or an otherwise poorly organized product. And when it comes down to it, unreadable loses to boring every time.
How do you know when you’re pushing the limits of creative web design successfully? Take a hint from these sites and you’re sure to get great results.
Navigation is one of the most important parts of your website – readers need to be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily or they’ll hightail it elsewhere. So while many sites think it’s trendy to hide their menus or offer an instructional walkthrough for their hyper-creative navigation, think again. Navigating a site shouldn’t require a steep learning curve.
Just Creative highlights the great navigation on Carbonstudio’s site, a perfect sphere of water suspended in the center of the page. To navigate, drag and drop the smaller, surrounding droplets into the center one. It isn’t just any old navigation bar, but it won’t send confused users running either. This is highly successful design.
Parallax Limit Pushing
Parallax is a somewhat controversial tool that has taken the design community by storm. It allows designers to create animated, continuous scrolling pages that can resemble a moving infographic.
Ctrl Alt Delete features a one-page, parallax design that others have described as resembling a flipbook. But this site also pushes design a step further with a bright orange dominant color scheme. The bright color, when combined with the parallax animations, may be going too far. Some users will love this site, while others will feel a headache coming on.
When considering parallax for your website, it’s worth weighing whether a great infographic would be equally beneficial. DataCamp’s infographic about careers in the data science industry, for example, could easily been redesigned with parallax, but the infographic does it’s job effectively without overwhelming the reader. Make sure you consider the overall design of your content, including factors like color and font, when deciding how far to take the underlying coding for your site.
Make It A Game
One way to make a great website is to play on purpose. Printed By Somerset offers a new angle on web design by blending the worlds of print and digital. To emphasize this, the site presents itself as a print document that you can interact with – flipping open flaps, scratching off the address bar, engaging as you would with a paper booklet. What really makes the site work, besides its excellent flow, is the way the site is designed to mirror the brand priorities. All designers should consider the value of this kind of alignment.
A Step Too Far
There are some web design issues that have been around since the first sites were built – poor font choice, bad color schemes, and extremely cluttered pages. But with the development of more complex design possibilities, new creative failures have emerged.
Take the front-page carousel design that we’ve seen a lot of over the last year. Carousels are meant to prevent excess clutter, but instead they slow your site down, lower image resolution, and push your content down below the site fold. As any old school newspaper pro can tell you, falling below the fold means losing those quick readers who judge by headlines and first appearances.
Are you ready to take on the new creative challenges of web design? There are so many exciting tools and possibilities available today. Proceed with excitement and a critical eye. Not sure you’re making it work? Take a tip from Coco Chanel and take off one accessory – or modern design trick – before you launch.